LV: Poll shows low eSignature…

LV: Poll shows low eSignature use by citizens when dealing with government bodies

Published on: 03/01/2012

The findings of a public opinion poll carried out by the Sociological Research Centre SKDS show that in the last 12 months, 62 % of Internet users have turned to the web for information about state and local government services. However, the Latvia State Radio and Television Centre (LVRTC) reports that only 6 % have communicated with such government institutions by submitting electronic documents signed with a secure eSignature. 

According to the poll, 39 % of respondents were asked to communicate electronically either by email or via official websites with state and local government institution employees. Of these, 11 % admitted that they had been offered to electronically submit applications and other official documents using a secure eSignature.

"That is a very small number indeed. In the era where electronic solutions are widely used to arrange most of our financial transactions, business operations and even entertainment activities, we are still spending our time and money on routine things like document submission by visiting an institution in person," emphasised Jānis Bokta, Chairman of the LVRTC Board.           

In August 2011, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers approved an action plan for the reduction of administrative burden. It determined that as of 1 December 2011, state and local government institutions are obliged to provide information on their websites (via links or banners) on how to officially come into contact with them using a secure eSignature.

Mr Bokta added: "There are expectations that public awareness of ways of faster and simpler communication with state and local government institutions is going to increase. However, institution employees should also explain to their clients and visitors how they can use the electronic signature in communication. Not only would it reduce the administrative burden, but also increase the speed of communication and improve satisfaction with the institution's customer service culture and efficiency in the long term." 

In addition, the survey shows that institutions have almost always accepted documents signed with a secure eSignature. 26 % of respondents stated that they had requested an electronic response when communicating with institutions, although only one third of all respondents were able to confirm that electronic feedback had actually been received following the submission of a document signed with a secure eSignature.‎

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